Annona glabra Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
The pond apple is a medium-sized tree or shrub with a short, sometimes buttressed trunk. This plant’s common name comes from the large fleshy apple-shaped fruit, which may be up to 5 inches (13 cm) long. The tree can withstand long periods of flooding, and frequently survives weeks or more with its roots underwater. Pond apple trees are common in the Everglades, and they are also found in freshwater swamps, sinkholes, and wet sloughs in south Florida.
Pond apple trees used to be more common. In his extraordinary book ‘A Land Remembered”, Patrick Smith describes the vast pond apple forests that once grew along the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee and were eventually destroyed to make way for sugar cane farms and agriculture.
The fruits have been used to make jelly, custard and wine.
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